Transforming Urban Water Initiative: from Grey to Green Shorelines

A multi-partner effort engaging the water community with re-imagining how nature-based shoreline infrastructures can address flood risk and water quality concerns while providing critical ecosystem benefits.

News and Updates

The Transforming Shorelines Collaborative is a hands-on forum for wastewater treatment managers, planners, regulators, designers, and engineers to discuss best practices for nature-based shoreline infrastructure projects that incorporate treated wastewater. 

This next Collaborative workshop will be focused on the ongoing San Leandro Treatment Wetland Project that aims to restore a 4.3- acre wastewater storage basin to create a multi-benefit treatment wetland at the City of San Leandro’s Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP), and develop a community-based shoreline resiliency and tidal marsh restoration vision for the surrounding area. It will advance the reduction of wastewater-borne contamination and eutrophication via development of new forms of green infrastructure. The San Leandro team will bring their regulatory and design ideas to a panel of experts and hope for an interesting conversation with participants. Join us and bring your ideas!

Featured Speakers and Projects:

Scott Wallace P.E., President, Naturally Wallace Consulting

Josh Sharp, Director, Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program


San Leandro Treatment Wetland Project Team:

Ian Wren, Independent Consultant

Justin Jensen, City of San Leandro

Lucas Paz, Terraphase


Expert panel:

Samantha Engelage, City of Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant

Mark Lindley, Environmental Science Associates 

Sahrye Cohen, US Army Corps of Engineers

Xavier Fernandez, SF Regional Water Quality Control Board


December 1st, 2020


Zoom Link to Follow

To RSVP, please complete the RSVP form or email Liz Juvera (

What we do

The Transforming Urban Water is a collaborative initiative that advances innovative nature-based solutions for the San Francisco Bay shoreline in conjunction with wastewater treatment facilities. 

Led by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, the Transforming Urban Water initiative:  

  • Engages community partners in ongoing and potential nature-based solutions projects;
  • Supports capacity building and resource sharing on the state of the art of design, permitting, construction, planning and public engagement on nature-based solutions and horizontal levee projects;
  • Advances research and monitoring at the Oro Loma Living Laboratory Horizontal Levee;
  • Supports an integrated approach that brings diverse perspectives to the table through the lens of equity and resilience.

Nature-based solutions

The Bay Area faces multiple complex, interrelated, and expensive water management and infrastructure decisions motivated by the need to remove contaminants, restore natural services to aquatic ecosystems, secure potable water resources, mitigate sea level rise impacts, and replace aging infrastructure. In addition, impacts from sea level rise and extreme storms will increase the vulnerability of wastewater treatment facilities, often located directly adjacent to the shoreline.

Nature-based solutions are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.”

This project advances the following Estuary Blueprint goals and actions

Habitats and Living Resources
Water Quality and Quantity

Action 14